Member Spotlight: Angela Dale
March 12, 2020
This March brings us two Premium SDA Member spotlights! First up is Angela Dale, a Calgary-based designer, who makes amazing garments from a wide array of materials. She has a Certificate in Costume Studies from Dalhousie University, a BFA in Fine Arts from NSCAD University, and an MFA in Design and Technical Theatre from the University of Calgary.
I create to satisfy my curiosity and expand my artistic endeavours. I like to challenge myself and how I work. Discovering new techniques and ways of thinking are essential to my growth as an artist, designer and creator. My wearable art has evolved from my work as a costume designer and builder in professional theatre, dance and ﬁlm. I am interested in exploring the fantastical, whimsical and otherworldly using the human body as my canvas. Transformation and augmentation of the human form with padding, corseting, framework and the manipulation of soft materials through pleating, folding, stiffening and layering to create three dimensionality and sculptural elements are common themes in my work.
The use of materials in a contradictory manner where they can appear to be something they are not intrigues me. I used this idea when I created a series of stylized period wigs out of a variety of fabrics for a production of the period play “Turcaret”. What was initially an answer to budget constraints led to wigs that were far more successful in terms of expressing character than actual wigs would have been.
I work a lot with dancers and the relationship of a body in motion to a garment’s kinetic potential is something that I am constantly looking to capitalize on. The choice of material, cut and drape can either accentuate or hinder a bodies movement and I am always interested in the performative aspects of this. I will make choices according to the message I am trying to convey.
Using LED’s and technology in my work has become an obsession with me. I am fascinated by the ways in which textiles and reﬂective surfaces can be used to play with light. Using sensors to show things like heartbeat or react to motion or sound expands the possibilities even more. I have also been implementing the use of digitally cut and printed materials in my work. I see technology as a tool to expand my potential as an artist and creator. It has allowed me to create things that I never would have dreamed possible in the past.
Last year I went on a new adventure and created a piece for a fashion show to raise awareness around ocean plastics. I used a number of different plastic materials that had been found on beaches around the west coast to create wearable artwork celebrating the beauty of our oceans. This project had me questioning the amount of waste we produce as a society, how we can live more sustainably, and how artists and designers can use more reclaimed and repurposed materials in their work. I hope to continue my investigation with this in future works.
Ultimately I aspire to create pieces that intrigue and evoke a sense of delight, wonder and enchantment in the viewer, essentially to make magic with fabric!